Bombay High Court verdict: Vodafone fined Rs 50,000 for flouting Vishakha Guidelines

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New Delhi | Published: October 28, 2017 7:17:31 PM

The court observed that the company had no Complaints Committee to address sexual harassment cases and since the petitioner approached the officials for help but no one responded, the company was slapped with a fine of Rupees 50,000.

vodafone, vodafone telecom, vishakha guidelinesm, bombay high court, vodafone fined, vishakha compaints committee, high court, Vodafone NEWS, Vodafone Complaints Committee, sexual harassment caseOne of the largest telecom distributor, Vodafone, has been fined for not having a Complaints Committee after a former employee and petitioner alleged that she was terminated from her service in 2000 without being offered any help. (Photo: PTI)

One of the largest telecom distributor, Vodafone, has been fined for not having a Complaints Committee after a former employee and petitioner alleged that she was terminated from her service in 2000 without being offered any help. The employee was reportedly approached for sexual favour by her then Chief Operating Officer (COO) and another company executive which she refused to yield to, says Indian Express.

The court observed that the company had no Complaints Committee to address sexual harassment cases and since the petitioner approached the officials for help but no one responded, the company was slapped with a fine of Rupees 50,000. Though the court refrained from ruling on the sexual harassment case, it noted that when the alleged incident was reported the company did not have any Complaints Committee for addressing such issues.

Bombay High Court said, ‘’..nothing prevented the Respondent No.1(Vodafone) from inquiring into her grievance even after her termination.”

The high court, therefore, ruled that the company failed to follow the Vishakha Guidelines and is liable to pay the petitioner the fined amount.

What is the Vishakha Guidelines?

  • A set of procedural guidelines protecting employees against sexual harassment in the workplace.

  • Promulgated by the apex court in 1997.

  • Later superseded by The Sexual Harassment of Women At Workplace in 2013.

  • Requires to set up a Complaints Committee headed by women or should be comprised of 50 per cent of women.

  • Requires to involve a third party and to present an annual report the government department concerned with complaints and action taken by them.

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